Difference between Parliament and Legislative Assembly

Key difference: A Parliament and a Legislative Assembly are both names that are given to a legislature. A legislature is nothing more than a decision-making organization. The most common, and probably the only difference between the two is that while the name Legislative Assembly can be given to any legislature, the name Parliament is reserved for a legislature under the Westminster-style system.

The political system is a very diverse topic that is hard to understand. Add to this the fact that each country’s political system differs from the other, and then this system becomes even more confusing. Now consider that a Parliament and a Legislative Assembly is effectively the same thing, but depending on the country that they are incorporated in, they can be as diverse as apples and oranges.

 A Parliament and a Legislative Assembly are both names that are given to a legislature. A legislature is nothing more than a decision-making organization. It is part of the country’s government and has the power to enact, amend and repeal laws. The also have the power to create and amend budgets, as well as observe and steer governing actions.

Often the names "parliament" and "congress", are given to national legislatures, while "assembly", "diet", "majlis" and "council" are regarded as being lesser than the national level. However, this is not always the case, and the situation may differ depending on the country in question. Essentially the most common, and probably the only difference between the two is that while the name Legislative Assembly can be given to any legislature, the name Parliament is reserved for a legislature under the Westminster-style system.

The members of the legislature sit and debate the various issues that are presented in front of it, which may have an impact on the country’s laws and regulations. The legislature can be made up of one of more deliberative assemblies. If the legislature has only one house or chamber, then it is known as a unicameral legislature, while if it has two, it is known as a bicameral legislature. A legislature may have a three chamber structure, known as tricameral, but those are usually rare.

In a unicameral legislature, it holds all the power as allowed to a legislature by that country’s government. Whereas, in a bicameral legislature, the powers will be divided between the two. One example of a bicameral legislature is the UK Parliament, which has the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The Parliament is usually always led by the nation's prime minister (PM), who is almost always the leader of the majority party in the lower house of parliament, but only holds his or her office as long as his party’s majority is maintained. The parliamentary system can be contrasted with a presidential system, where the nation’s leader, i.e. President is not dependent on a party’s majority but is rather directly selected by the people. Consider for example, the US presidential system, which also consists of a bicameral legislature, i.e. the Congress, which has the House of Representatives and the Senate, but the US President does not directly control either one.

Comparison between Parliament and Legislative Assembly:

 

Parliament

Legislative Assembly

Type of

Legislature

Legislature

Level

Almost always National

National, State, Regional, Local.

Definition

A decision-making organization, usually associated with national government, that has the power to enact, amend and repeal laws.

A legislature is a decision-making organization that has the power to enact, amend and repeal laws.

Part of

The Parliamentary System of Government

Any type of Government

Form of Government

Usually Democratic

Can be any, but usually Democratic

Functions

Representation, legislation and parliamentary control (i.e., hearings, inquiries).

Enact, amend and repeal laws

Observe and steer governing actions

Amend the budget or budgets

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Comments

i thnk that the above answer is right.....according to me

Thanks for the information provided, it was really educative. We just had an argument on the form of government: Parliamentarian and Legislative form of government. This argument was based on my colleague describing the Liberian law making house as "Parliament" rather than Legislature. The fact that Liberia has a unitary form of government rather that federal government.

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